Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hot Sauce Reviews: 2 Tropical Pepper Co. Habanero Sauces

Tropical Pepper Co. XXXXtraTropical Pepper Co. XXtraAll right, I'm still waiting for some more Benito's Hot Sauces. In the meantime, let's take a look at 2 Hot Sauces I picked up at the supermarket, that I've seen there and elsewhere recently, and have been curious about. Since these are apparently widely available, they may be of interest to you, too! They are from the Tropical Pepper Co. and labeled XXTRA HOT Habanero Pepper Sauce, and Special Edition XXXXTRA HOT Habanero Pepper Sauce.

Even better they are cheap -- they may have been on special; I'm not sure -- at $1.89 each, although on the website below they list for $2.99 ea.

There is a web site listed -- http://www.tropicalpepper.com/ -- and the bottle states that the sauce is packed for the H.L. Benndorf Corp., in Medford, NJ.

Made in Costa Rica, as are many others, including the fairly famous Dave's Gourmet line, these sauces appear to have a nice, thick body in the bottle with visible bits and pepper seeds, and a bright orange-red color.

The listed ingredients are the same for both sauces, and except for the labels, the sauces and the bottles appear identical.

Tropical Pepper Co. XXtra Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce &
Tropical Pepper Co. Special Reserve XXXXtra Hot Habenero Pepper Sauce
Ingdts: Crushed Habanero Peppers, Salt, Acetic Acid, Starch, Onion Powder

The nose of both sauces is primarily Vinegar (in this case Acetic Acid) and Brine, with a hint of Pepper and a touch of something sweet, the pineapple, no doubt.

The 1/4 teaspoon to the tongue test gives initially a Salt/Vinegar taste with a moderate Habanero heat and flavor with just a touch of sweetness, and a very minor hint of onion. This is true of both sauces, and except for more seeds and pulp in the Special Edition XXXXtra Reserve and possibly a tiny bit more heat, both sauces are essentially the same.

These are fairly simple sauces with a little more heat than, say, Tabasco, or a lot more than Frank's, but with a primarily Pepper/Vinegar/Salt flavor profile that will be familiar to Louisiana Style Hot Sauce people

In short, good, basic sauces with some kick and thickness. They would make a nice Wing Sauce. And they would be good for anyone who wants or needs a traditional sauce with more heat and thickness.

They aren't particularly tropical or Caribbean, in spite of the added pineapple.

Don't expect sweetness or fruit.

Recommended. Especially at the price.

Don't know why they bother to have 2 separate sauces.

You could always buy the Special Reserve XXXXTra Hot and say you spent 6 bucks for it ... sounds fancy enough.

Yours in heat and flavor,


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  1. Tropical Pepper and Melinda's are the best on the market.

  2. Melinda's is VERY good. Tropical Pepper is OK, but quite ordinary.



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